The Pratt surname has two origins: it was a locational name derived from various terms that translate roughly to "meadow", and a name that was sometimes given to people considered skilled practical jokers and tricksters. Our own Pratt history takes us back to 18th century South Carolina, and leads us to Iowa.
Joseph Pratt 1768 - 1826
Joseph was born in South Carolina, USA, likely to William and Emma Pratt, though no solid documentation of that has been found. Most of the information we have about Joseph is questionable, at best - many dates offered do not make sense, and most of what is "known" about him comes from the assumption that he was in fact the son of William and Emma, despite a lack of sources. What we do know is that he married Elizabeth Jones in the late 1700s, and the two raised at least one son in Abbeville, South Carolina, though it is believed they had four or five children total. Joseph passed away in 1826, and is buried alongside his wife in Lindsay Cemetery.
Children of Joseph and Elizabeth:
William Pratt, b. 1798, d. 1864
1800-1820 Census Records
South Carolina Marriage Index
William Pratt 1798 - 1864
William was born and raised in South Carolina, and was a farmer for most of his life. He married Martha Murdock in the early 1820s, and the two raised seven children on their farm. According to his Find A Grave memorial, he was a prominent figure at Little River Church, and is buried in their cemetery.
Children of William and Martha:
Charles Felix Pratt, b. 1824, d. 1901
Joseph Pratt, b. 1825, d. 1877
Mary Elizabeth Pratt, b. 1830, d. 1904
Sarah Pratt, b. 1832, d. 1909
Martha Jane Pratt, b. 1834, d. 1881
Emma Pratt, b. 1836, d. 1916
James Pratt, b. 1838
1830-1860 Census Records
Charles Pratt 1824 - 1901
Charles was born in South Carolina, the first child of William and Martha. Following in his father's footsteps, he became a farmer at an early age. In the 1840s, he married Gabriella Callaham, and the two had nine children. It is this family that takes our Pratt line out of South Carolina and into Iowa; the family first moved to Georgia, and later to Iowa, where they were well-known enough to make it into a book detailing the history of Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
According to their biographies (which were written while they were alive, making them at least somewhat reliable), the Pratt family farmed in Georgia for several years, growing grain, fruit, and cotton, as well as raising animals, and in 1861, Charles enlisted in the volunteer infantry. Charles serves as an interesting example of the divisiveness of Democrats during the civil war - despite considering himself a Democrat and a liberal, he fought on the Confederate side of the war. After the war, the family intended to move to Utah, but instead settled in Iowa, where they continued to farm and mill. Charles also held a number of local positions in Pottawattamie County, including Justice of the Peace (which he had also been in Georgia), president of the Crescent M.P. Society, and prominent member of the Farmers Alliance. Both Charles and Gabriella converted from the Baptist church to Mormonism.
Charles passed away in 1901 and is buried in Crescent cemetery.
Children of Charles and Gabriella:
Nancy Pratt, b. 1846, d. 1917
John Pratt, b. 1846, d. 1924
James Pratt, b. 1849, d. 1934
Sylvester Pratt, b. 1851, d. 1907
Martha Pratt, b. 1854, d. 1871
Emma Pratt, b. 1856, d. 1943
Phoebe Jane Pratt, b. 1859, d. 1941
Charles Felix Pratt, b. 1862, d. 1926
Mary Frances Leona Pratt, b. 1864, d. 1930
1860-1880 Census Records
South Carolina Marriage Index
Land Ownership Records
Biographical History of Pottawattamie County
Mary Pratt 1864 - 1930
Mary was born in Georgia, the youngest child of Charles and Gabriella. In her adolescence, the family moved to Iowa, and it was there that she met Milton Hough. The two married when she was twenty, and went on to raise six children in Pottawattamie County.
For more information on Mary's family, please visit the Hough page.